Can tyrosine supplements help you think better?

Photo by Jack Carter on Unsplash

Tyrosine is an amino acid produced in the body that some people take as a supplement to improve thinking processes, reduce stress, and fight depression.

VALI includes N-acetyl-L-tyrosine in Neuro Force [1] nootropic health supplement to produce neurotransmitters for improved cognition, memory, and well-being, and to alleviate stress.

Nootropics are called smart drugs or cognitive enhancers [2]. The theory says they help you remember more, and be more alert, creative, focused, and motivated.

You could be near the end of your life and suffering from memory loss, in your middle years and needing to stay alert during that afternoon slump, or a college student needing to enhance your memory. Nootropics can help in all these situations.

Some say they can also help people with ADHD, anxiety, and confused thought processes, though you should always check with a doctor if you have one of these conditions before self-medicating.

How does tyrosine work?

Tyrosine in the human body increases the presence of neurotransmitters, including adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine [3]. If you take supplements of it, these neurotransmitters may help your memory and help you perform better in stressful situations.

Stress can decrease the number of neurotransmitters and thereby reducing your attention span, reasoning skills, knowledge, and memory.

Healthline says it works to build up stressed-out laboratory rats, which may or may not be an indication it works in humans.

This video explains the benefits of tyrosine.

But two studies of 22 people in each found that "tyrosine significantly improved working memory during a mentally demanding task, compared to a placebo" and improved cognitive flexibility.

Working memory helps you concentrate and follow instructions better. Cognitive flexibility helps people switch between thoughts or tasks.

Healthline says further:

Additionally, supplementing with tyrosine has been shown to benefit those who are sleep deprived. A single dose of it helped people who lost a night’s sleep stay alert for three hours longer than they otherwise would.

What’s more, two reviews concluded that supplementing with tyrosine can reverse mental decline and improve cognition in short-term, stressful or mentally demanding situations.

Some take it before a workout, hoping for a physical boost, but no such improvement has been shown in scientific studies. Also, in the absence of stress, tyrosine has not been shown to improve thinking power, either.

Does tyrosine help for depression?

Some claim tyrosine helps with depression. Healthline says the scientific studies on this claim show mixed results.

One study of 65 people who took either tyrosine, an antidepressant, or placebo for four weeks found no efficacy for fighting depression.

But there is a type of depression called dopamine-dependent depression that is marked by a lack of motivation and low energy levels. Such patients may benefit from tyrosine supplements in these cases, and one study backed of people with dopamine-dependent depression found the benefited significantly.

"Until more research is available, the current evidence does not support supplementing with tyrosine to treat symptoms of depression," Healthline says.

What else is in Neuro Force?

VALI Neuro Force [4] contains several other ingredients, all intended as nootropic support. They are:

  •  AstraGin™ (Astragalus membranaceus Root & Panax notoginseng Root)to improve the body’s absorption of essential nutrients that promote well-being. 
  • DMAE, says [5], is a compound that some believe can enhance memory, improve mood and brain function. Advocates of DMAE say it can have benefits for patients with ADHD, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, and depression.
  • GABA is another compound thought to have many benefits, according to [6]. It may help relieve anxiety, improve the mood, and treat ADHD. But don't stop there, it also reduces PMS symptoms, helps grow lean muscle, burns fat, relieves pain, and stabilizes blood pressure, according to WebMd.
  • Bacopa seems like another miracle worker when you read about it on WebMd [7]. The herbal extract, also called brahmi, treats Alzheimer's, to improve memory and thinking, to reduce anxiety, to treat ADHD.
  • The type of carnitine in VALI is perhaps the most effective form to help your brain, according to [8]. Studies in animals show it may help prevent mental decline from aging and improve learning. It may also, human studies show, reverse loss of brain function from Alzheimer's. It may also improve brain function in alcoholics.
  • Alpha Lipoic AcidResearch suggests this antioxidant may provide protection to the brain and help with memory and nerve damage. 
  • L-Theanineis an amino acid that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Used for treating anxiety and memory loss. Helps take the “edge” off caffeine for smooth energy.
  • Natural caffeine,to improve strength, endurance, and mental stimulation. Reduces fatigue and drowsiness. Improves reaction time, concentration, and coordination. 


Always check with your doctor before using any supplements because they can make your medications work less effectively or even in combination have adverse effects on the body.

Neuro Force is produced in an eco-friendly facility, and the supplement is made in the United States.